- Child may have come in contact with parasite through a plastic toy water slide
- St. Bernard Parish water supply is being treated as a precautionary measure
- There is no danger of infection from drinking contaminated water
- A Florida 12-year-old died of the same infection less than two weeks ago
(CNN) -- A child has died after contracting a rare but deadly brain-eating amoeba infection while visiting a home in Louisiana, according to state health officials.
Officials believe the child is a 4-year-old boy from Mississippi who may have come in contact with the waterborne Naegleria fowleri amoeba while playing on a plastic toy water slide, St.
Bernard Parish President David Peralta told CNN affiliate WWLTV. Water samples taken from the home tested positive for the amoeba, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
The state health department has not released the child's age or identity.
Out of what officials describe as "an abundance of caution," St. Bernard Parish on Thursday began treating its water system with additional chlorine and flushing any potentially contaminated water from its lines. This treatment may result in changes in the smell, taste and color of the local water, the health department said, but it is still safe to drink.
While initial tests for the amoeba were negative, the health department said tests showed low levels of chlorine in some areas of the water supply.
"We are working with the parish to make sure precautionary measures are being taken while we await additional test results on samples taken from the area's water system," Assistant Secretary for Public Health J.T.